Prioritization of quality requirements: State of practice in eleven companies
Paper in proceedings, 2011
Requirements prioritization is recognized as an important but challenging activity in software product development. For a product to be successful, it is crucial to find the right balance among competing quality requirements. Although literature offers many methods for requirements prioritization, the research on prioritization of quality requirements is limited. This study identifies how quality requirements are prioritized in practice at 11 successful companies developing software intensive systems. We found that ad-hoc prioritization and priority grouping of requirements are the dominant methods for prioritizing quality requirements. The results also show that it is common to use customer input as criteria for prioritization but absence of any criteria was also common. The results suggests that quality requirements by default have a lower priority than functional requirements, and that they only get attention in the prioritizing process if decision-makers are dedicated to invest specific time and resources on QR prioritization. The results of this study may help future research on quality requirements to focus investigations on industry-relevant issues.